Middle-order options could cause Finch a headache

Ahead of Australia’s opening game in the T20I tri-series against Pakistan, their skipper Aaron Finch is faced with the problem of plenty in the batting line-up.

Having finished a dismal tour of England where they lost all games (five ODIs and a T20I), Finch and his men will look to revive their fortunes on Zimbabwe soil. Australia are otherwise without their mainstays in the pace bowling department apart from missing their two batting stalwarts through suspension. However, their middle order is posing them a few questions, so as to who will start ahead, Nic Maddinson or Travis Head. It also has Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell in the mix.

Maddinson, on the match eve, was spotted spending a lot of time with head coach Justin Langer and that gave an early indication of things to come. “When you pick a squad, you try and mix and match the guys that can fit in anywhere and Nic definitely does that,” Finch said. “In terms of the hopefully five games coming up, there’s every chance he’ll feature at some point.”

Head, on the other hand, has batted at No.4 in the shortest format, in six of the 11 games he’s played for Australia. While he’s had most success opening the innings in the 50-over format, he’s had a decent run at either one-down or No. 4 in the shortest form. But ahead of their clash against Pakistan, Head has announced his readiness to slot in at any position. “I’ve always said I’m not too bothered where I bat,” Head told cric.com.au. “Whatever’s best for the team is where I’ll fit. I think I fit in anywhere in the order and can play a role for the team.

“I got my chance at four the other night (at Edgbaston). I didn’t play as well as I would’ve liked. I’m working hard at the minute and wherever my spot fits I’ll fit,” the left-handed mentioned. Head batted at No.4 in Australia’s 28-run loss to England, while scoring just 15 from 10 balls. However, in the preceding five-match ODI series, he scored three half-centuries, showcasing his fine form.

As Australia look to end their losing streak, against the No.1 ranked T20I unit, Head lavished praise on Langer, who he feels has worked very hard on his batting personally. “He’s been working us really hard, relaxed but fair. He’s really hard on basics. Me personally, the last four weeks have been the best that I’ve trained. It hasn’t reflected the way I’ve been playing with a couple of starts without a big score. But that shift in the training mentality and how we think about the game is definitely a shift and is something I’ve really enjoyed,” Head noted.

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